TC-MEM-BL-SH39X39 Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I determine what I need for my floor heating project and how can I find out what my floor heating system will cost?

You can use the Instant Quote Tool, which gives you many options for your floor heating coverage. Use this interactive tool to design your room online and receive an instant quotation with product recommendations, rough-in and installation kits, cost of your control, etc. Planning your floor heating project is made easy when using our Instant Quote Tool.

Send us your floor plan or fax it to (800) 408-1100 and we will send you a quote, product recommendation and a free custom installation plan for your project.

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What type of flooring can I install along with an electric floor heating system?

WarmlyYours’ TempZone™ product is most commonly installed under tile, stone, and marble flooring, but can also be installed under many other popular floor covering options such as hardwood, vinyl and linoleum. We also have our Environ system, which is an electric floor heating product as well and is specially designed for installation under carpet (in the U.S. only), laminate and floating wood. WarmlyYours can accommodate any flooring type with either of the electric radiant floor heating products that we offer. If your flooring type isn't listed here, just give us a call at (800) 875-5285 and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

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Should I be concerned about electric floor heating melting the toilet connection's wax ring?

To prevent any overheating, we recommend that you do not install any electric radiant floor heating elements closer than 4" from the wax ring.

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How do I know if I am installing my electric floor heating system properly?

Please keep in mind that you must check your electric floor heating system with a digital ohmmeter in conjunction with a Circuit Check™. Take an initial reading as soon as you take the product out of the box to verify that it is within -5% / +10% of the values stated on the product’s label. This will give you a basis of comparison for future readings. Take a second reading once you have positioned the system to match your custom installation plan. It is also advisable to take an additional reading in the middle of the tile installation, just to make sure that the Circuit Check™ is doing its job. Then, take a final reading when you are finished with the floor installation and are ready to hook up the thermostat.

The Circuit Check™ is a tool developed by WarmlyYours to give you peace of mind and ensure trouble-free installations. Simply hook up the cold leads to the tool while you position the system to match your custom installation plan.

The Circuit Check™ will continuously monitor the continuity of the circuit during the installation of your system and during the installation of your flooring. The Circuit Check™ beeps immediately when a short in the system is detected, alerting you to a potentially damaged cable in the area you are working, before you lay the tile over the electric floor heating system.
 The WarmlyYours technical support team is available 24/7 to provide assistance if the alarm sounds, or if you would have any questions during your installation.

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Should I add insulation before installing electric floor heating and how will that affect the system's performance?

When installing electric floor heating over a concrete slab, an insulating underlayment like CeraZorb is highly recommended to ensure efficient operation, faster heating times and warmer floor temperatures.

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What type of floor preparation is required for Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and radiant heating?

The subfloor will need to be prepared as per the instructions of the self-leveling cement (SLC) used. Please note that most self-leveling products require the use of a primer as specified by the SLC company.

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How do I figure out how much underlayment I’ll need for my floor heating project?

The best way is to use our Radiant Floor Heating Quote Builder tool. It’s a great way to get an estimation by simply providing project information like room size and subfloor type. 

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Can you heat under the appliances, fixtures, or furniture in a laundry room, mudroom, or utility room?

No, it is recommended that floor heating only be installed in the areas that you will walk on. Heat can become trapped if installed under objects that do not offer enough clearance for air to circulate (such as a washer or dryer).

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Can I heat luxury vinyl tile/planks in the kitchen?

Yes, our TempZone Heating Products can be used for heating luxury vinyl tile or luxury vinyl planks in any indoor application.

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Can I use electric floor heating as a primary heat source?

Yes, in most cases, an electric floor heating system can be effective as a primary heat source. However, our TempZone™ and Environ™ systems are most commonly used as a secondary heat source, providing floor-to-ceiling radiant heat to any room in your home where you desire more warmth and comfort.

If you are considering electric floor heating for an addition to your home, such as a sunroom where you have no other source of heat, WarmlyYours offers an innovative online tool which calculates approximate heat loss. This tool can help you to determine if a WarmlyYours’ electric radiant floor heating system will provide your desired comfort temperature throughout the year. You can access the Heat Loss Calculator or you can call us at (800) 875-5285 and a Customer Service Representative will make the calculation for you.

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How will electric floor heating affect my wood floor?

WarmlyYours nSpiration controls are equipped with an in-floor sensor to precisely control the floor's temperature to comply with the wood manufacturer's temperature recommendation.

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Will electric floor heating help with moisture issues like mold and mildew?

Yes, the drying effects of electric radiant floor heating will reduce the humidity coming from the slab, which is the largest source of moisture.

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What is the maximum temperature for Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) when it comes to in-floor heating?

This is stated in the Installation Manual of the LVT product when purchased. On average, this maximum temperature will fall between 80°F and 83°F. This number can then be used to program the thermostat during setup to set the floor's maximum temperature.

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What is the height of the Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane?

The height of the membrane itself is just about 1/4" (7/32").

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How are insulating underlayments different from uncoupling membranes?

Insulating underlayments and uncoupling membranes share some key characteristics like providing crack isolation benefits. But they are separated by their primary functions.

Insulating underlayments, like CeraZorb, provide a thermal break between a subfloor and the heating elements, which can help prevent “heat sink” and increase energy efficiency. This can be particularly beneficial if you are trying to heat a room above a cement slab or above an unheated garage. 

Uncoupling membranes, like the Prodeso membrane, are great for protecting relatively fragile floor coverings like tile from foundational movement. They also allow for faster installation times than many other types of floor heating. 

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Is a floor heating underlayment always required?

No, an underlayment isn’t always necessary. 

However, there are some situations in which the use of an underlayment would be required, such as heating over a cement slab (where an insulating underlayment would most likely be required). When heating over a cement slab, our recommendation is to use CeraZorb as your underlayment. 

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How does electric floor heating compare to central or forced air heating?

Typically, electric floor heating is used as a supplemental heat source but in some cases, it can be used as a primary heat source. Electric floor heating is more energy efficient, less prone to spreading dust and allergens, and easier to control from room to room. Air-based heating systems can be used for both heating and cooling and can be a good way to control air quality in the home with regular maintenance. 

For a more in-depth answer to this question, check out Your ‘Cheat Sheet’ for Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air

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What temperature will my heated floor reach?

The temperature of your floor can range anywhere between 75°F to 95°F. The floor's actual temperature will depend on a number of factors including the amount of heat loss that the room experiences as well as the room’s configuration. For instance, the warmth contained in a two story entry way would likely be less than that of a smaller, more enclosed area such as a bathroom. In a bathroom that is located on the second floor of your home or over another floor in your home that is typically heated, the temperature of your heated floor should easily reach a comfortable temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, if the electric floor heating system is installed correctly. For the heat loss calculation for your specific room, you can access the Heat Loss Calculator or you can call us at (800) 875-5285 and a Customer Service Representative will make the calculation for you.

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Will the radiant heat affect the attached rubber or cork backing on Luxury Vinyl Tile? Does the attached backing have any effect on the floor heating system?

Since most Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) manufacturer's set a maximum temperature for radiant floor heating, the system should have little to no effect on the rubber/cork backing.

Pre-attached backing can act as an insulating layer though, meaning it can prevent the radiant heating from efficiently directing heat up through the floor. Please check with the manufacturer for the r-value of the product. Look for an assembled plank with an r-value of less than 1. The lower the r-value, the better!

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Is installing a floor heating system for LVT the same as for ceramic or porcelain tile?

Yes, Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is typically installed over the embedded heating element using self-leveling cement (SLC). Many people choose to use SLC when installing tile over floor heating.

We do not suggest using thinset to encase the heating wires with LVT, as it is very difficult to get thinset completely flat.

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Do I have to replace my floor to install electric floor heating?

Yes. While there are some floor heating systems that can be installed beneath floor joists, most electric radiant floor heating systems will need to be installed beneath the floor itself. This is why the best time to install electric floor heating is during a remodel or as a part of a new construction, when a floor is being installed anyways. 

If you're interested in alternative radiant heating methods, check out our Radiant Panels, which are wall-mounted and use infrared technology to provide supplemental heating. 

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Which floor heating underlayment is best for a high-moisture installation like a bathroom?

Typically, an uncoupling membrane like Prodeso will be best for this application because it can be paired with accessories to effectively waterproof the subfloor. 

However, if you have a cement subfloor, then CeraZorb synthetic cork is a good choice because of its high 1.5 R-value and moisture resistance. 

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How much does it cost to heat a bathroom floor with electric floor heating?

A typical bathroom floor can be heated for about a quarter a day with electric radiant floor heating.

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Does the heat cause any shrinkage, expansion, or warping of the vinyl flooring?

If the flooring manufacturer has a warranty for electric floor heating, it should not be adversely affected by shrinkage, expansion, or warping. Again, it will depend on the brand and construction of the product. Some manufacturers may place limitations on the maximum floor heating temperature. To minimize expansion and contraction, some Luxury Vinyl Tile companies require heating the flooring to a continuous heating level with "setback" temperatures (lower temperature settings during the day and overnight) kept to a minimum.

While radiant heating can affect the expansion and contraction of the floor, the most overlooked and important factor is the relative humidity in the space, so a humidifier or dehumidifier may be needed.

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How effective are radiant electric floor under 3/4" wood flooring?

For best results, we recommend a 1”- 1.5” maximum distance between the heating cable and the top of the floor. Nailed down hardwood will require sleepers to run the cable safely between board nails. Be sure to use 3/8" to 3/4" of self-leveling cement to embed the heating element.

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How much does it cost to run an electric floor heating system?

The answer to this question will depend on a whole host of variables related to electric floor heating, including, but not limited to, the run time (for supplemental heating, we usually recommend between 4-8 hours per day), the electric radiant floor heating system you're using, the total square footage, and your local electrical cost. Typically, the cost is just a few cents a day. 

To figure out how much electric floor heating might cost to run for you, make sure to use our interactive Operating Cost Calculator. 

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Would the installation process be different if Luxury Vinyl Tile was installed in a bathroom?

No. A bathroom floor would be installed in the same way. Our TempZone floor heating systems are wet-location listed and ideal for bathroom floors.

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What thickness is required for self-leveling cement when installing floor heating for Luxury Vinyl Tile?

We suggest the heating product be embedded in a minimum of 3/8" of self-leveling cement (SLC). Always check with the manufacturer for specific recommendations.

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What are the benefits of the Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane?

This membrane provides many benefits including speedy installation, uncoupling, crack isolation, vapor management, and load distribution.

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Which LVT, WPC or Solid Core product can be paired with radiant heating? Is there a list of manufacturers who still provide a warranty when pairing with radiant floor heating?

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile), WPC (Wood Plastic Composite), and Solid Core all fall into the category of "vinyl flooring." These flooring types can be rated for floor heating, but will completely depend on the manufacturer's guidelines.
Please look in the installation manual and warranty documents of the product you're interested in to see if and what types of heating are allowed.

As for a list of manufacturers - many do provide a warranty for their products when properly installed with floor heating. The list of these is ever-changing, so please be sure to check with the flooring manufacturer for current recommendations.

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Can I put furniture on top of underfloor heating?

Yes, but any furniture that may trap heat, such as pieces with an enclosed bottom, should be avoided. Furniture on legs with a clearance of at least 3" is permissible.

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How can I make my basement warmer?

A floor heating system can work as a supplemental heating source and make the basement warmer. If more heat needs to be added to the room, you can experiment with setting the floor heating thermostat to higher temperatures.

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How are hydronic and electric floor heating systems different?

While both hydronic (heated water) and electric floor heating systems perform a similar function by providing radiant heat from beneath your floor, they do differ in some pretty crucial ways. Typically, using hot water instead of electricity will result in lower operational costs but significantly higher investment and maintenance costs. This usually means that hydronic heating systems are reserved for new construction projects (where it is easier to incorporate the boilers and pumps needed to operate the system) and electric floor heating is often used for remodeling projects in bathrooms, kitchens, etc. To learn more about the differences between these systems, check out this post

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How does electric floor heating work?

Electric floor heating works by having an electric heating cable installed underneath the flooring (embedded or floating, depending on the system and floor type), which is then wired to a special thermostat (either one specifically designed for electric radiant floor heating, like a WarmlyYours’ nSpiration Series control, or a third-party thermostat). When turned on, the heating cable emits heat upward through the flooring which is then radiated throughout the room, heating all solid surfaces. 

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Can you use glue-down Luxury Vinyl Tile products with this floor heating system?

Yes, if the flooring manufacturer recommends this installation method. In most cases, the heating element will still need to be embedded in self-leveling cement before the flooring is installed.

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Does the Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane eliminate the need for movement joints, including perimeter joints, within the tiled surface?

No, the Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane does NOT eliminate the need for movement joints, including perimeter joints, within the tiled surface.

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Is there a way to heat vinyl flooring without embedding the heating system, such as a floating floor heating system?

There are heating systems designed for floating floors, such as our Environ system. However, the flooring must be rigid enough so it does not mold itself to the heating cables over time.

Check the flooring manufacturer's floor heating recommendations. In most cases, the heating system will need to be embedded beneath the flooring. Check for all "flatness" requirements for the flooring you choose. The flattest floors utilize self-leveling cement when installed correctly.

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Can this heating system be installed over Solid Polymer Core (SPC) floor or a Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) floor?

We suggest removing SPC or WPC flooring before installing the floor heating system over it if possible. If that is not practical, use an underlayment designed specifically for covering these types of floors. Radiant heating can be used with many types of these floors, but check with the flooring manufacturer to confirm that it can be paired with these types of systems.

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What is the recommended temperature for a heated kitchen floor?

Everyone has their own comfortable temperature setting, but we typically find that our customers use their thermostats to set the "floor temperature" of the system in the 78°F - 84°F range.

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What is the most common spacing between runs of the heating cable when installed in the Prodeso Cable Installation Membrane

The most common spacing is 3.75" (3 membrane nodules) between runs of heating cable. Occasionally, systems will be designed with 5" spacing (4 membrane nodules). 

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Can you wait until after the thinset embedding the heating cable in the membrane has cured before installing the tile flooring on top?

No, the tile floor should be installed at the same time as the embedding of the heating cable. 

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Can this floor heating be used under an existing hardwood floor?

No, most in-floor heating is designed to be added to new flooring. If you do have existing wood floors you would like to add radiant heating to - it is possible to do so with an under-joist heating system. 

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Do I need insulation when installing a floor heating system over a concrete slab?

When WarmlyYours floor heating systems are being installed on a concrete slab, we strongly recommend adding a layer of insulation over the slab prior to installing the system. While our systems provide up to 25% more heating power per square foot than many of our competitors, the slab will always act as a "heat sink." Some of the heat that would otherwise be transferred to the flooring surface will remain in the slab, causing the floor’s surface temperature to be considerably lower. This is true with any floor warming system.

When installed on top of a concrete slab without insulation, it is generally accepted that a radiant floor heating system will take the chill away from the floor and provide a small amount of warmth. Adding insulation on top of the slab and beneath any floor heating system will allow a greater percentage of the heat generated to transfer to the flooring surface. This results in greater efficiency and therefore faster warm up times, higher expected surface temperatures and lower energy usage. The floor will have the capacity to warm to a comfortable temperature, and in some cases can be employed as the primary heat source for that room.

The recommended types of insulation are natural cork, insulated tile backer boards and insulated underlayment, such as CeraZorb synthetic cork.

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Does a floor heating system require a separate GFCI breaker, and if so, what amperage?

A Warmly Yours indoor floor heating system should not be installed with a GFCI breaker because GFCI protection is built into the thermostat and power module.  And while it's not always required, we strongly recommend a dedicated circuit for each thermostat and power module to limit the occurrence of ground fault nuisance tripping caused by multiple GFCI devices on a circuit. The amperage of a breaker would depend on the amp draw of the heating system. For example, a TempZone Flex Roll (which provides approximately 15 watts of energy output per square foot) that is providing 15 square feet of heating coverage will draw only 225 watts ( 1.9 Amps), so a 15 Amp circuit would suffice.  Always size breakers according to your local Electrical Code requirements. 

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In regard to heavy or large objects on the floor, how should floor heating be planned to accommodate these?

An area where large furniture will cover the floor should have enough clearance underneath to allow air to circulate. Any areas where floor heat may be trapped (rugs, box bottom furniture), let your sales rep know so we can design an installation plan around these areas.

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Can you install multiple sensors in the floor for one thermostat?

Yes, you can install multiple sensors while installing the floor heating system. Only one of these sensors should be connected to the floor heating thermostat. Any secondary sensors can be run through conduit up to the thermostat area to be connected in the future should anything happen to the original sensor. The sensor is low voltage and may not need conduit. If conduit is required, it will need to be separate from the return power leads.

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Why not develop a heated floor solution for any type of floor rather than specific type of floor?

There is a way to install floor heating that makes it suitable for any type of floor. By embedding our TempZone systems in self-leveling cement (SLC), you have created a heated subfloor. Almost any low r-value flooring can be installed directly over this for heated floors.

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Does this system work with Cork Flooring?

Cork flooring can be used with floor heating if the r-value is under 1. You will need to find the r-value of the flooring you choose and let your account manager know during the design stage. Cork flooring should have a low r-value to minimize trapped heat.

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What should I consider if I want to heat a vinyl or composite material floor?

We recommend verifying 3 things with the manufacturer of the flooring product to be heated;

1.) Is the flooring product compatible with electric floor heating?

2.) What is the maximum temperature the flooring product can withstand?

3.) What is the temperature set back recommendation of the flooring product?

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What is the difference between crack isolation and a decoupling membrane?

A decoupling membrane protects the installation from differential expansion/contraction between the substrate and the flooring, relieving almost all shear stresses. Crack isolation protects the installation by isolating the flooring from minor in-plane substrate cracking.

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